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Thursday, March 18, 2010

TIPS vs GNMA Performance Update with 2.1% CPI-U Inflation Rate

Bob Brinker continues to recommend Vanguard's GNMA Fund, VFIIX, on his radio show. Over the course of last year, I sold out of my "explore portfolio" position in Vanguard's GNMA fund and replaced it with individual TIPS.

Today's CPI Press Release says Year-over-year CPI rose at a 2.1% rate
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 2.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
: The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.1 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 216.741 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index was unchanged prior to seasonal adjustment.
My 5-yr TIPS with a 1.25% base rate will earn 3.35% at this rate of inflation
My 20-yr TIPS with a 1.375% base rate will earn 3.475% at this rate of inflation

In my other newsletter, The Retirement Advisor, we recommended Vanguard's TIPS fund, VIPSX, over Vanguard's GNMA fund last year.

Vanguard's GNMA fund, VFIIX currently at $10.82, currently yields 3.16% and will lose NAV (net asset value) if inflation spikes in the future. It will gain NAV if we see deflation and rates drop.

ECRI says we have begun a cyclical upturn in inflation. That doesn't mean we will get hyper (over 10%) inflation, but it means deflation is off the table.
Owning Vanguard's TIPS fund over its GNMA fund paid off last year:
  • in 2009 Vanguard's TIPS fund, VIPSX, gained 10.8%
  • in 2009 Vanguard's GNMA fund, VFIIX, gained 5.3%
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